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Old 10-29-2006, 06:25 AM   #1
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Default Head to Head: Moss vs Townsend/McFadden

Head to Head: Raiders WR Randy Moss vs. CBs Deshea Townsend/Bryant McFadden
Sunday, October 29, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When he was in college, Bryant McFadden said he always had the task of defending Randy Moss. But the showdown always took place in a video game, not on the football field.

That will change today when the Steelers play the Oakland Raiders.

"One of my teammates would probably get Moss and I'd be on another team and I probably get someone like Champ Bailey and try to line up with him one-on-one," McFadden said. "I'll try to defend him the same way I try to defend him on the video game -- make sure you got a lot of people around him."

The Steelers will face Moss for only the second time since he entered the league in 1999 and became the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first six seasons in the league. In their only other meeting, Moss had eight catches for 144 yards and a touchdown in a 2001 game at Heinz Field when he was with the Minnesota Vikings.

If Moss has another game like that, the Steelers' secondary could be in trouble. The Steelers have allowed 10 touchdown passes -- only five fewer than last season when they led the AFC -- including four in last week's overtime loss in Atlanta.

"That's a great situation to be in, just to be able to play against a guy like that," McFadden said. "Seeing him when he was at Marshall, playing against him in video games, to actually being in his presence with him, that's a big challenge. I'm all up for it."

McFadden has started the past two games at right cornerback because Deshea Townsend has nursed a hamstring injury. But Townsend and McFadden are expected to flip-flop roles against the Raiders, with Townsend starting and McFadden being used as the nickel back.

Moss was off to a slow start this season, too, prompting people to wonder if he had lost his burst or leaping ability. But he had his most productive game with the Raiders in last week's 22-9 victory against Arizona, catching seven passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, even though he dropped four passes.

It was Moss' 101st career touchdown catch, which ranks fifth all-time and third among active receivers behind Marvin Harrison (113) and Terrell Owens (106). It was his 46th 100-yard career game, which ranks fifth all-time and second among active players behind Harrison (55).

"Randy and Andrew [Walter] are beginning to click now," said Raiders coach Art Shell, referring to his second-year quarterback who has started the past four games. "I think they understand each other. With Randy being at the top of his game, that makes our offense a whole lot better and opens up things for other receivers. It also helps us with our running game."

Moss is in his second season with the Raiders, who obtained him in a March, 2005 trade with the Minnesota Vikings and trumpeted his arrival by having seven police motorcycles escort his limousine from the airport.

But his first season was anything but spectacular. Moss had 60 catches for 1,005 yards -- his seventh season with more than 1,000 yards -- and eight touchdowns, but he was injured early in the season and finished third on the team in receptions behind Jerry Porter and running back Lamont Jordan.

"His ability to run and high-point the ball is something," Townsend said. "When he's running full speed, he's still able to go up and get it. That's what makes him special."
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Head to Head: Moss vs Townsend/McFadden

Pressure the QB baby!!
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Head to Head: Moss vs Townsend/McFadden

I dont know about Townsend on Moss. I wish Hampton was playing. I hope for a great pass rush. Lets overload on side like in the first half on the Chargers game.

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Old 10-29-2006, 10:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Head to Head: Moss vs Townsend/McFadden

Originally Posted by wvsportsman View Post
Pressure the QB baby!!
I agree, otherwise we're in too many "jump ball" senarios with Moss, which we'll lose more times than not.

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Old 10-29-2006, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Head to Head: Moss vs Townsend/McFadden

Moss can only do so much. His QB will have hell brought on him today if our D takes their wake up call last week seriously. Not only that, Jordan and Crockett will have problems today. It will interesting how this game burns down to.

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